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today’s news for Friday, April 3, 2020

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

 Off the Cuff

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Megan, Jill, and Allie reconvene via Zoom to discuss guidance institutions are still awaiting from the Department of Education (ED) surrounding the impact of the novel coronavirus on Title IV aid. At 11:45, Megan talks about additional COVID-19 relief bills being drafted, and how much support there will continue to be for higher education, and at 14:25, Allie discusses ED’s new instructions for loan servicers to suspend borrowers' payments on federally-held loans and waive their interest accrual — as mandated in the recently passed relief package — by next week. At 17:18, Jill delves into ED’s proposed rule on distance education released Thursday for public comment, and the group wants to know: Do you want to join NASFAA’s Zoom podcast, and if so, what would you talk about? We’re excited to (virtually) host a few of you on the show!

As part of the third COVID-19 relief package signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, Congress mandated the Department of Education (ED) suspend payments and interest accrual on federally-held student loans until Sept. 30, 2020. As borrowers eagerly await evidence of those changes on their accounts, ED on Wednesday gave lenders a date by which they must implement those provisions and addressed questions on its website as to whether borrowers should already stop making payments.   

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to impose new financial realities on consumers, it also subjects student loan borrowers to uncertainty in their repayment plans, which could make them more susceptible to scams stemming from the outbreak.

Completions of the FAFSA have dropped considerably as nearly all high schoolers throughout the country are home for the remainder of the school year due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. While it is not immediately clear just how dramatic the drop in applications will be compared to previous years or how it will impact enrollment in the fall, advocates for college access and affordability are beginning to raise concern.

AskRegs

Yes. According to guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Student Privacy Policy Office, during its March 30, 2020 FERPA and Virtual Learning During COVID-19 webinar: FERPA does not prohibit teachers from taking personally identifiable information (PII) from students' education records home with them as long as the teacher has a legitimate educational interest in the education records, as determined by their educational agency or institution. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

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